Help! I've spent over 900$ in three weeks and still can't swim!

amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
I have a above ground vinyl pool. It's a 30ft x 54in round and is in ground about half way. This will be the 3rd summer we have had it. We started out using soft swim and switched over to chlorine last year. However I could hardly keep it clear last year and no matter how much I tried my chlorine would never stay high enough. Fast forward to this year... so far this pool season....1st: used the HTC brand pool flock kit....didn't work. 2nd: paid a pool company to finish opening it up three weeks ago today...which included having new sand put in the filter a week ago and my pool is still not swimable.
So to start with TFP I bought the Leslie's 81330 test kit. But should I keep it or try and take it back? As it's not exactly what I need as I've now read through the pool school pages.
 

Steve_in_C

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
344
Kinston, NC
I suggest you start with
ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry - Trouble Free Pool
 
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amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
If you can return it, you can do so and order a tf-100 from tftestkits.net to save some money.

If not you can order the fas-dpd test seperatly on Amazon for around $25.
If I can't take it back can I start testing with the kit I have as I wait for the fas-dpd to come in or is it best to wait and test when I have both?
 

amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
I suggest you start with
ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry - Trouble Free Pool
Thank you. I have read through those and feel so confused. But I'm ready to start testing and just didn't want to waste money on the wrong kit. I thought I was buying the right one, but got home and saw where they aren't the same.
 

justinc

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2019
591
Texas
If I can't take it back can I start testing with the kit I have as I wait for the fas-dpd to come in or is it best to wait and test when I have both?
Keep it. You have a Taylor K2005 rebranded as a Leslie's kit. You are only missing this test: FAS/DPD Chlorine & CC's test Order it from this link.

You can test your water currently and post up results but you won't be able to test chlorine over 5 or 10.
 
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tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,395
Franklin, NC
The kit you have is a Leslies branded Taylor K-2005. Add teh FAS/DPD kit and you have what we like to see.

You can test everything except chlorine to the accuracy we like to see.

Until you get the FAS/DPD kit test all the other water parameters and put one bottle of bleach in the pool each day with the pump running.

No more magic potions from the pool store. No floc, algecide or the special solution uncle George says clears his pool all the time. You are going to need chlorine, probably lots of it.


We find that many times pool store employees primary goal is to sell stuff, not necessarily get your pool in perfect condition. As to whether that is because of improper training, lack of knowledge or just to sell stuff I will leave up to you. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their advice and testing.

So, what do we propose? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. Which leads to:

TFPC tenet - Never put chemistry in your pool when you do not know the outcome

For almost everything the pool store sells, there is a generic "twin" that you can get at your grocery store or big box store. Alkalinity low like I used as an example? You can go to the pool store and buy Alkalinity Up in a fancy bottle or you can stop by Walmart and pick up baking soda.

I know you are frustrated and upset you have spent a lot of money, but stick with us. We will get it clear and pretty and keep it that way for a lot less money.
 

amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
The kit you have is a Leslies branded Taylor K-2005. Add teh FAS/DPD kit and you have what we like to see.

You can test everything except chlorine to the accuracy we like to see.

Until you get the FAS/DPD kit test all the other water parameters and put one bottle of bleach in the pool each day with the pump running.

No more magic potions from the pool store. No floc, algecide or the special solution uncle George says clears his pool all the time. You are going to need chlorine, probably lots of it.


We find that many times pool store employees primary goal is to sell stuff, not necessarily get your pool in perfect condition. As to whether that is because of improper training, lack of knowledge or just to sell stuff I will leave up to you. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their advice and testing.

So, what do we propose? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. Which leads to:

TFPC tenet - Never put chemistry in your pool when you do not know the outcome

For almost everything the pool store sells, there is a generic "twin" that you can get at your grocery store or big box store. Alkalinity low like I used as an example? You can go to the pool store and buy Alkalinity Up in a fancy bottle or you can stop by Walmart and pick up baking soda.

I know you are frustrated and upset you have spent a lot of money, but stick with us. We will get it clear and pretty and keep it that way for a lot less money.
Yes I am DONE with pool stores...FOREVER. I went to Home Depot and Wal-Mart and stocked up on 10% bleach, muriatic acid, borax and baking soda. If I forgot anything let me know please. I tried last summer to do the BBB method but never reached out to anyone for help and got frustrated after adding 10 gallons of bleach every evening only to test the next day and it say 0 chlorine. But since I've learned so much more since finding this site. I now know that last year with out the proper kit I was just spinning my wheels and just adding stuff to my pool hoping is would clear and stay that way.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,395
Franklin, NC
I went to Home Depot and Wal-Mart and stocked up on 10% bleach, muriatic acid, borax and baking soda. If I forgot anything let me know please.
To be honest, most folks never need borax or baking soda. Set those aside and keep the reciept so you can return them. Once we see your numbers we can give a little more information.

Start reading through this as the SLAM will clear your pool.

You will need three things-

Acid to get your pH right before you start, lots of chlorine and POP (Pool Owner Patience)

 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,720
Houston, Texas
Soft swim is biguanide product. A more common brand name is Bacquacil. Last year when you switched to chlorine, did you do any conversion process or draining, or did you just start using chlorine in the pool?
 

amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
Tested pool this morning.
FC 3-6
TC 3-6
CC 0-0 ( is that right? )
PH just lighter shade than the 7.0
TA 8 drops to a light red almost pink color wasn't sure how red it needed to be. ??
Calcium Hardness 39 drops to a light blue
CYA 45ish
Pool this morning is blue but can't see the bottom in most places. The water looks cloudy with a blanket of algae on the bottom closer to the sides of the pool.
Should I vacuum to waste before I do anything to it?
 

amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
Soft swim is biguanide product. A more common brand name is Bacquacil. Last year when you switched to chlorine, did you do any conversion process or draining, or did you just start using chlorine in the pool?
Yes, first of last season I let all levels drop out of pool and did a partial drain as my pool is half way in ground. It was mostly green when I started adding chlorine products. In Aug. ( 103° south oklahoma heat) the pool store told me to redrain pool completely but when I told husband what they said he stopped me before I more than likely would have ruined my liner.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Don't waste the water vacuuming to waste. Just vacuum. Let the filter do its job.

Your Chlorine tester gives you both Chlorine and Bromine. The first (lower) number is the chlorine. You don;t have Bromine in the pool so the second number is useless. Ignore it. It'll just confuse things.

For the TA test you keep adding until you get to the drop that makes no difference and subtract it.
So if it goes green-green-green-green-green-pinkishbacktogreen-pink-barbie pink-barbie pink that makes 9 drops total but nine did nothing so you call it 8. That makes TA 80. Capiche?

I hope the 39 drops on the CH test was using the 25 ml sample making it 390. Tip: use only 10 ml, 10 drops, 3 drops, and each drop of R-0012 counts as 25. Your CH is probably not as high as you think. You just got tired of swirling. Fewer drops actually will probably improve your test result. For the best results, use a speedstir. My CH dropped 200 just by switching!

Since you are reasonably sure your FC is currently 3 and your CYA rounds up to 50 (Another tip: you can pour the mix back and forth and retest it many times to be sure of your reading) so you can use PoolMath to get the bleach dose to get to 20 FC. Sadly, you can't retest much during the day. The pink chlorine test can bleach out to read falsely low. And now that I think about it, I hope that isn't happening now.... You'll just have to decide if it's likely or not. You know how bad it looked and when the last chlorine went in.
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
557
Marrietta Ga
For all the money you spent you could have done a complete drain and refill and started fresh. Good luck, sounds like your on the write track and the guys here have a lot of experience and can help for sure
 
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amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
Don't waste the water vacuuming to waste. Just vacuum. Let the filter do its job.

Your Chlorine tester gives you both Chlorine and Bromine. The first (lower) number is the chlorine. You don;t have Bromine in the pool so the second number is useless. Ignore it. It'll just confuse things.

For the TA test you keep adding until you get to the drop that makes no difference and subtract it.
So if it goes green-green-green-green-green-pinkishbacktogreen-pink-barbie pink-barbie pink that makes 9 drops total but nine did nothing so you call it 8. That makes TA 80. Capiche?

I hope the 39 drops on the CH test was using the 25 ml sample making it 390. Tip: use only 10 ml, 10 drops, 3 drops, and each drop of R-0012 counts as 25. Your CH is probably not as high as you think. You just got tired of swirling. Fewer drops actually will probably improve your test result. For the best results, use a speedstir. My CH dropped 200 just by switching!

Since you are reasonably sure your FC is currently 3 and your CYA rounds up to 50 (Another tip: you can pour the mix back and forth and retest it many times to be sure of your reading) so you can use PoolMath to get the bleach dose to get to 20 FC. Sadly, you can't retest much during the day. The pink chlorine test can bleach out to read falsely low. And now that I think about it, I hope that isn't happening now.... You'll just have to decide if it's likely or not. You know how bad it looked and when the last chlorine went in.
Got it on the TA test, thanks. Just wanted to make sure. On the CH test it was at the 25ml and I swirled like crazy and it turned a purple color first and I just added enough drops to turn it blue. I will look into a speedstir and see what that is.
 

amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
For all the money you spent you could have done a complete drain and refill and started fresh. Good luck, sounds like your on the write track and the guys here have a lot of experience and can help for sure
We have gotten so much rain here I felt like a complete drain was out of the question as it would have caved in the sides of my pool. So that's why I went the pool store/ pool guy route but like you said hopefully I'm on the right route now. Thanks
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Got it on the TA test, thanks. Just wanted to make sure. On the CH test it was at the 25ml and I swirled like crazy and it turned a purple color first and I just added enough drops to turn it blue. I will look into a speedstir and see what that is.
Wow!

If that's correct ( I doubt it based on my own experience) your CH is 975. That's way too high. Even allowing for poor swirling, it's still too high but probably not as bad as 975. If they had you shovelling Cal-hypo shock into the pool, or Calcium Increaser (not needed in a vinyl pool BTW) maybe a vacuum to waste isn't such a bad idea after all. You'll want to replace some water to reduce CH so you might as well get some added benefit from it.

Speedstir video:
 
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amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
Wow!

If that's correct ( I doubt it based on my own experience) your CH is 975. That's way too high. Even allowing for poor swirling, it's still too high but probably not as bad as 975. If they had you shovelling Cal-hypo shock into the pool, or Calcium Increaser (not needed in a vinyl pool BTW) maybe a vacuum to waste isn't such a bad idea after all. You'll want to replace some water to reduce CH so you might as well get some added benefit from it.

Speedstir video:
The Pool guy had me add 6 3inch chlorine tabs to my skimmer and told me to keep it full. So every other day I was adding 6 tabs to pool and I did that for two weeks but stoped that about Tues and had added just three Wed. But also he has added shock and stuff in that three week time. I added ph up last sat and swept the pool and that was just after he had changed out my sand in the filter.
 

amraney

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2019
73
Oklahoma
Oh man! I just placed my order on tftestkits.net for the fsa-dpd kit this morning. That speedstir looks way easier. I'll have to get one.